Note: This post is part of our series, "Netflix Academy: The best educational videos available for streaming." Be sure to check out our previous Netflix Academy posts on Ancient Asian Cultures; the early American civilizations; Ancient GreeceAncient RomeNative American culturesChristopher Columbus and the Age of DiscoveryColonial America and the Revolutionary Warthe American founders;  movie adaptations of classic children’s booksAmerican folk heroesdinosaursaquatic lifeinsectsfrogs and other amphibiansreptiles; and birds.

Over the course of this year’s exploration of educational videos available on Netflix and other streaming services, one fact has become clear: science is easier to cover than history. That’s surely true when it comes to videos on mammals; our cup runneth over. Maybe that shouldn’t be surprising, as mammals are fascinating—particularly since we are mammals, and we love to learn about ourselves. What follows barely scratches the surfaces of what’s available, but it’s some of the best. Enjoy!

Special thanks to research interns Andrew McDonnell, Elisabeth Hoyson, and Liz McInerney for helping to compile these lists.

Best videos on mammals

1. The Life of Mammals

Life of Mammals

David Attenborough hosts this in-depth examination of mammals, from the smallest shrew to the biggest whales and the most advanced primates. A study of the evolution and habits of the various mammal species, it is the fourth of Attenborough's specialised surveys following his major trilogy that began with Life on Earth. Each of the ten episodes looks at one (or several closely related) mammal groups and discusses the different facets of their day-to-day existence and their evolutionary origins.

Length: Nine 50-minute episodes

Rating: TV-G

Provider: Netflix

2. Big Cat Diary

Big Cat Diary

The "original wildlife soap opera," this long-running series follows the lives of African big cats in Kenya's Maasai Mara. Each series has followed the daily lives of a lion pride, a cheetah family and a leopard family. The presenters They use names and develop personalities for particular cats to draw the audience into a relationship with them, creating empathy for the characters.

Length: Seven seasons, 30-minute episodes

Rating: TV-G


3. African Wild: Elephants of Mashatu

African Wild

Follow a family of elephants on their journey through the Mashatu Game Reserve as they search for good grazing and water.

Length: 48 minutes

Rating: TV-G


4. Feeding Time

Feeding Time

Travel to zoos across the United States and United Kingdom to join a variety of exotic and adorable animals as they chow down.

Length: Three 48-minute episodes

Rating: TV-G


5. The Joy of Pigs

The Joy of Pigs

There are little pink pigs, ferocious hairy tuskers, and all manner of pigs in-between. There are pigs in steamy rainforests, dry savannas, and snowy woodlands. From humble beginnings in the jungles of Asia, pigs have become one of the most successful mammals on earth. Our film travels the globe to celebrate their fascinating lives.

Length: 51 minutes

Rating: TV-PG

Provider: PBS

6. Georgia Outdoors: Bats!

Georgia Outdoors

Bats are one of the most important animals on earth, but the adage "out of sight, out of mind" often applies to these incredible creatures of flight. We put you face to face with these winged mammals to illustrate their beauty, but also their tragedy. We investigate a mysterious fungus that endangers the bat population in hopes of discovering how it acts and how to stop it.

Length: 51 minutes

Rating: TV-PG


7. Up Close & Natural: Mammals

Georgia Outdoors

A baby raccoon and two newly born fawns introduce the distinctive characteristics of all mammals, even dolphins.

Length: 13 minutes

Rating: NR


8. Wildlife of East Africa

WIldlife of East Africa

Six years in the making, this stunning, beautifully filmed and narrated video showcases one of the most unique and wondrous of the world's natural resources--the wildlife of East Africa. East Africa hosts the greatest variety and abundance of wild animals to be found anywhere on earth.

Length: 36 minutes

Rating: NR

Provider: Amazon Instant

9. Wild America: Mysterious and Marvelous Mammals

Wild America

In our human quest to discover the magic of new worlds, we have long traveled to remote areas due to mythical accounts of magical creatures. Yet sometimes the inhabitants of Nature living nearby are just as enjoyable and awe-inspiring, if we only take the time to get to know them better.

Length: Ten 29-minute episodes

Rating: NR

ProviderAmazon Instant

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